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South African Squad Review: Just How Well Did They Perform?

28 June 2010 by
South Africa’s exit from the World Cup was disappointing to say the least (even from a neutral’s point of view), despite the fact that it was expected. Some players’ performed exceptionally well, yet some underperformed massively. Here I will take a brief look at each squad member, summarising their contribution to South Africa’s performances.

Goalkeepers:

Itumeleng Khune: Made some fine saves against Mexico in the opener, but ultimately it was his moment of madness against Uruguay that cost them the chance of picking up any points. 6 (out of 10)

Moeneeb Josephs: Drafted in after Khune’s dismissal against Uruguay, and couldn’t prevent any goals conceded. Made one fine reflex save against France, tipping Ribery’s free-kick over the bar. 7

Shu-Aib Walters: No appearances. N/A

Khune’s moment of madness cost South Africa vital points

Defenders:

Siboniso Gaxa: The right-back provided some attacking threat down the flanks, but rarely delivered decent crosses. Looked shaky at the back, too. 5

Tsepo Masilela: Parreira’s first-choice left-back looked assured in defence and coped with the Mexican attack well. Also provided the assist for Mphela’s strike against France. 7

Aaron Mokoena: Captain Mokoena didn’t live up to expectations, and was at fault for Marquez’s goal in the opener. Rarely threatened from set-pieces. 6

Anele Ngcongca: No appearances. N/A

Matthew Booth: No appearances. N/A

Lucas Thwala: Surprisingly started at left-back for the opener, but was forced off through injury. Made little impact. 5

Bongani Khumalo: Scored the opener against France, a constant threat in the air. Extremely well disciplined. 8

Siyabonga Sangweni: No appearances. N/A

Khumalo scored against France

Midfielders:

Macbeth Sibaya: Started the final game against France, looked calm and collected on the ball. Probably his last World Cup appearance. 6

Lance Davids: No appearances. N/A

Siphiwe Tshabalala: South Africa’s star performer. Scored an absolute rocket in the Mexico match, and was unlucky not to score against France. A constant threat. 9

Steven Pienaar: Probably the hosts’ most disappointing performer, putting in poor performances. Never lived up to his billing. 4

Teko Modise: Played an excellent through ball to Tshabalala for that goal. Definitely one to keep an eye on. 7

Reneilwe Letsholonyane: Looked decent in the holding role, spraying pass after pass out wide. Broke down a few attacks as well. 7

Kagisho Dikgacoi: Suspended for the last encounter, but never really got going against Uruguay. Disappointing. 5

Surprise Moriri: Only made one small substitute role, made impact. 5

Thanduyise Khuboni: No appearances. N/A

Tshabalala was undoubtedly South Africa’s star performer

Strikers:

Katlego Mphela: Scored a ‘bundler’ against the French, and was unlucky to hit the post against Mexico. Looked bright and played well throughout. 8

Bernard Parker: Made two appearances, almost scored against France. Held the ball up well and delayed the pace of the game. 7

Siyabonga Nomvete: Made one cameo farewell appearance against France. Did nothing. 5

Mphela played well throughout the event
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